Mr. Gatlin, of Salem, died Monday, Oct. 4, 2010. He was 83.
Born March 20, 1927, to Albert Norman and Sylvia Naomi Shadwick Gatlin on a farm near Goodwin, Mo., they moved to Kansas, where Mr. Gatlin graduated high school from Larned High in 1945, joining the Army Air Corps. He spent time at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., then was stationed in the Philippines until he was honorably discharged in 1947.
He wed Evelyn Marie Sikorra at the Nazarene Church in Salem, divorcing in 1973 after having six children. He later wed Barbara Jean Bayne Girt, moving with her to Salem in 1990 after time in Arizona and Missouri.
He spent 26 years working at the Dammasch State Hospital, PERS and the Oregon Highway Department before retiring in 1984. He enjoyed camping, fishing, hiking, photography and visiting his parents in Sunnyside. He also played several instruments.
Remembering his time in the tropics, Mr. Gatlin visited the Philippines again after a pen-pal courtship with Nenita Rose Ricarde. They married in Iloilo, Panay, Philippines on Jan. 31, 1995, and they moved to Oregon in 1996.
He moved into Regency Woodland Residential Care Community in July 2010.
Lee was preceded in death by his parents, sister Erma Jean Nichols, and his youngest daughter, Debra Sue Finnegan (Paul). He is survived by his wife, Nenita Rose Gatlin; son, Larry Gatlin (Carol) of Groton, CT; daughters (all from Oregon), Linda Watson (Don) of Keizer, Leanne Ruby (George), of Pendleton, Leslyn Gatlin-Grape (Mark) of Sisters, and Diane O’Brien (Mike) of Salem; sister, Joyce Roswall of Bremerton, WA; brother, Sam Gatlin (Donna) of Yakima, WA; and Evelyn Marie Gatlin of Salem.
He leaves behind 13 grandchildren: Amie Watson of Arcata, CA; Jason Gatlin (Mary) of Beaverton, OR; Josiah Cotton (Keely) of Hillsboro, OR; Jonathan Watson (Krista) of Cornelius, OR; James Perkins (Heather) of Portland, OR; Corby DeCosta (Adam) of Nashua, NH; Thangaraj Watson (Beth) of Keizer, OR; Tyler Perkins (Christina) of Porterville, CA; Magdalena Gibbs-Ruby (Kristina) of Seattle, WA; Brandon Gatlin of Seattle, WA; Zachary Ruby (Brindy) of Tigard, OR; Courtney Gatlin of Jamesville, NC; and Jayme Bandy (David) of Woodburn, OR.